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Palliative care

You may be offered palliative care to improve or maintain your quality of life if you have been told you might not get better or have a life-limiting illness. Those involved in your care will regularly assess your needs and try to help you with any physical, emotional, social or spiritual needs you may have. You can have palliative care for weeks, months or years.






Consultant Medical team (Hospital and Sandwell Community)
Dr Anna Lock
Dr Diana Webb

Hospital Clinical Nurse Specialists
Kate Hall – Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist for Palliative Care
Juliette Flemming
Donna Sayers
Laura Pitt
Eileen Dolan
Sandra Beckles
Liz Mutch

Occupational therapists
Colin Hall (Sandwell Hospital)
Debbie Crewe (City Hospital)

Community Specialist Palliative Care team (Hospice at Home)        
Community Clinical Nurse Specialists
Carol Leiper Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist for Palliative Care
Alex Detheridge
Elaine Elwell
Sally Gallagher
Susan Hayes
Sharman Payton
Lyndsey Slater
Sarah Boston
Marie Mcmahon

Palliative Care Heart Failure Specialist Nurse
Linda Parkes

Speech and Language Therapist
Marcina Europa

Palliative Care Liaison Nurses        
Angela O’Sullivan
Coleen Rudge
Ruth Thompson


The Hospital Specialist Palliative Care Service
This is made up of a team of specialist nurses, occupational therapists and consultants who offer palliative care for inpatients in City Hospital or Sandwell General Hospital.

The team works with the ward doctors and nurses to improve physical comfort (such as treatment for pain or sickness) and helps them make decisions about a person’s future treatment. They also work with the help of social workers, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.

They can discuss options for future treatment and care and refer people to other professionals who will continue your care in hospital, home, care home or a hospice.

The team can give you copies of your notes to keep with you are take home if you wish.

Patients can be referred to the hospital palliative care service by any healthcare professional on the ward where they are having treatment. The team can be contacted Monday – Friday between 8am and 4pm on 0121 507 2511.

Palliative care when you are out of hospital

District nurses and community matrons
Community nurses, district nursing teams and community matrons can provide general nursing care for you in your own home and support your carers. They will be able to address any symptoms and seek further support from specialist services if they need further support with symptom control to help you live until you die in your preferred place of care with dignity.

Your own GP
Your GP will play a key role in coordinating your care at home. They will:

  • Plan your care with the district nurse and any specialists if needed
  • Regularly assess and treat your symptoms in partnership with you
  • Talk to you about and record your wishes for future care
  • Make sure you know who to contact if you have any problems
  • Pass on information about you to the out-of-hours doctors and nursing services so that if you need to contact them they will already have information about your condition.

Sandwell Community Specialist Palliative Care Service (Hospice at Home)
This is made up of community clinical nurse specialists, consultants in palliative medicine and allied healthcare professionals and they support people and their families. The teams work closely with other people involved with their care including GPs, district nurses and hospital consultants and nurses. They can also refer people to day services or to be admitted to one of the local hospices inpatient units if appropriate.

Community clinical nurse specialists are nurses who have had further training and experience in palliative care and can talk with people about any physical, emotional, spiritual or social issues which may be having an impact on their life. They have a good knowledge of what can help, including medication to improve symptoms such as pain, sickness or breathlessness. They have time to discuss thoughts and feelings which people may wish to share and can give information to help people make choices.

How to access this service
A patient’s GP, district nurse or hospital palliative care team can refer to the community palliative care team. The team will depend on which area the GP is based in. A member of the community team will then contact the patient to make an initial appointment where they will discuss the best way to support them.

Patient Stories

Please feel free to share your experiences of this service. Please e-mail your views to

Patient Information

Patient information leaflets
Anticipatory medicines
‘Off-label’ medicines
Syringe driver

The hospital palliative care team
The last days of life 
Welcome to the Bradbury House Day Hospice 

Living with a palliative condition
Palliative care is for all people who have a life-limiting illness and aims to improve people’s quality of life by addressing people’s physical, psychological and social concerns. Further information is available on:


Motor neurone disease

Heart disease

Chronic lung disease

Making plans
There may be times in your life when you think about what is important to you, the kind of care you will want in the future and what means for you and your family. You can make people aware of your wishes by advance care planning. A guide to help you do this is published by the National End of Life Care Programme and can be downloaded from here.

Further information about difficult matters can be found on the Dying Matters website:

The Supportive Care Pathway
The aim of the Supportive Care Pathway (SCP) is to ensure the focus of care is on symptom control, communication and comfort. The SCP can be used for patients, at home or in hospital, and is started after discussion with the medical and nursing team and, preferably, the patient and, if they wish, their families or carers. The SCP will not delay any discharge planning or deny any patient care that they require for comfort at end of life. A patient on the SCP may be seen by the palliative care team if the team looking after them identifies that their symptoms are not being well addressed.

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust Chaplaincy
Chaplains can offer spiritual support and signpost people to other services. Telephone: 0121 507 5051 (City Hospital) or 0121 507 3552 (Sandwell Hospital and Rowley Regis Hospital)

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
Staff are available for advice and information, or to listen to your concerns, suggestions and comments. They can also help resolve any issues with your care. Telephone: 0121 507 5836 Email:

Courtyard Centre Cancer Information and Support Service
The Courtyard Centre is based in the main reception area at Sandwell Hospital. It provides information, support and access to other services for cancer patients and their relatives. Opening hours are 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Bridges Support Services
This is a service for patients who are registered with a GP in the Sandwell or Heart of Birmingham PCT areas. Services include home visits, information, spiritual support, help with benefits, support around the home, carers’ support and volunteers to help with attending hospital appointments. Patients can contact the service directly or can be referred by a nurse or GP.
Telephone: 0121 612 2939
Web: or

Citizens Advice Bureau
Provides free and confidential legal and financial advice.
Telephone: 08444 111 444

Edwards Trust
Supports children and families through serious illness and bereavement.
Telephone: 0121 454 1705


John Taylor Hospice
76 Grange Road
B24 0DF
Tel: 0121 465 2000

Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice
176 Raddlebarn Road
Selly Park
B29 7DA
Tel: 0121 472 1191

Mary Stevens House
221 Hagley Road
Tel: 01384 443 010

Bradbury Day Hospice
Wolverhampton Road
West Bromwich
B68 8DG
Tel: 0121 612 2920

Compton Hospice
74 Compton Road West
Tel: 0845 225 5497


SWBH Hospital Specialist Palliative Care Team
Telephone: 0121 507 2511, Monday to Friday between 8am and 4pm

Sandwell Community Specialist Palliative Care Team (Hospice at Home)
Telephone: 0121 612 2928
Weekends and after 16.30 via message taking service on GP’s answer phone message

What to do in a crisis at home
Before contacting anyone refer to your personal care plan, as this will give the phone numbers you need and advice about your symptoms.

During weekdays in office hours, contact your district nurse or GP.

Outside office hours (during weekends and in the evening) contact the on-call district nurses, the on-call GP, or the Community Palliative Care Team for advice using the out-of-hours phone number on the answer phone at your surgery.

Most things can be dealt with by the district nurses, who, if they feel it is necessary, can ask for a doctor to visit you. Your district nurse and GP may send a handover form to the out-of-hours doctors’ service with information about your illness that will help them to make the right decisions about your care if you need your services.

When you call for advice or a visit you will need to give the following information:

  • Your name (or the patient’s name if you are calling on behalf of someone else);
  • Your date of birth (or the patient’s date of birth if you are calling on behalf of someone else);
  • The diagnosis;
  • Your address (or the patient’s address if you are calling on behalf of someone else);
  • The current problem and your / the patient’s condition.

Listen to the operator and try to answer their questions clearly. If you do not understand what to do, ask for further information.


Information for professionals

Making plans
Advance care planning is for patients who wish to anticipate how their condition may affect them in the future. If they wish, they can set on record:
their choices about their care or treatment
an advance decision to refuse treatment in specific circumstances

Those responsible for the patient’s care and treatment, whether professional staff or family carers, can refer to this if the patient loses the capacity to decide once their illness progresses. For further information:
Advance Care Planning Guide

Preferred Priorities of Care Tool

Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment

Symptom control
Downloads relating to symptom control can be found on the NHS Pan Birmingham Cancer Network website at


Motor neurone disease

Heart disease
The British Heart Foundation –

Chronic lung disease

Local professional development
John Taylor Hospice – contact Nicky Tongue for information on 0121 465 2000

Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice – Hospice – email or call 01902 774555, or visit

St Giles Hospice – call 01543 432 031 or go to

European Certificate in Essential Palliative Care
This is an eight-week distance learning course for doctors, nurses, and allied healthcare professionals who want a recognised qualification in essential palliative care. It is divided into five sections:
Caring for patients with pain
Palliative care and the gastrointestinal system
Breaking bad news and ethical issues
Clinical emergencies in palliative care in non-malignance diseases
The last 48 hours of life, practical issues and bereavement

Candidates are required to complete a case study portfolio, a written examination, key competency and practical at the end of the course. It is held at St Mary’s Hospice, Selly Park.

Free e-learning End of Life Care for All (e-ELCA) is an e-learning project, commissioned by the Department of Health to support the implementation of the national End of Life Care Strategy (July 2008). The e-ELCA enhances the training and education of health and social care staff involved in delivering end of life care to patients. Go to and for more information.

The Macmillan Learn Zone also provides online resources and education. Go to for more information.

National developments
National End of Life Care Programme –
Gold Standards Framework –
NICE chronic heart failure quality standard –

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